Archives+, Manchester

Interior of the Archives+ building, showing exhibition stands and seating.

Archives+ is one of 10 UK-wide partners who are helping save the nation’s sounds as part of the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project.

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Archives+ at Manchester Central Library is the hub partner for the North West region, which covers Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. We have digitised collections from multiple regional partners such as:

  • Bolton History Centre
  • Carlisle Archive Centre
  • Manchester Central Library
  • North West Film Archive
  • Oldham Local Studies and Archives
  • Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
  • Whitehaven Archive Centre


The oral histories being digitised here range from the life stories of seafarers and dockers held by the Merseyside Maritime Museum, millworkers from all over Lancashire and Greater Manchester, Sellafield workers and High Fell farmers from Cumbria, immigrant stories from Carlisle, Tameside and Oldham, and the memories of early twentieth-century Chester captured by the Chester Archaeological Society. We have been lucky enough to be able to include two pioneering oral history collections in our regional list:


We are also digitising recordings of news, documentaries and drama broadcast by local BBC radio stations from all over the region as well as the independent station Piccadilly Radio. The live music on our list is an eclectic mixture including 1960s folk music gigs, Irish traditional music and Royal Northern College of Music classical music concerts. Our region’s most unusual collections include recordings of space communications picked up by the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank and recordings of industrial sound effects.


To find out more, contact us at Archives+ or check out some of our sounds through these channels:






Compressed magenta sound-wave graphic. Logo for Unlocking Our Sound Heritage. National Lottery Heritage Fund crossed fingers logo


Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

Unlocking our Sound Heritage is a UK-wide project that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone.

All projects